Tony Gosgnach

‘Your God’s wrong’: Judge erupts in angry tirade, sends pro-life activist back to jail

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO, Ontario, March 22, 2012 ( – An Ontario Court of Justice judge erupted in a lengthy, angry tirade against pro-life activist Mary Wagner – and ejected a spectator from the public gallery – in a downtown Toronto courtroom Wednesday. The judge then sent Wagner to jail for an additional 92 days, added to 88 days already served prior to trial, after finding her guilty of mischief and two counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

The charges related to Wagner’s November 8 arrest at the site of the Bloor West Village “Women’s Clinic.” Wagner has been arrested on several occasions for peacefully entering abortion facilities in Toronto, where she presents women in the waiting room with a rose and offers them pro-life counseling. 

The remarkable scene played itself out after Crown attorney Derek Ishak and defense counsel Russell Browne made a joint submission to Mr. Justice S. Ford Clements for time served plus a three-year probationary term. But Clements emphatically rejected the submission.

“She can sit in jail, if that’s the only way to protect people,” he fulminated, calling Wagner “cowardly” for “abusing other human beings” and not having the courage to make her views known through other channels. “This is an extraordinary waste of resources. Get a grip!”

“You don’t get it, do you? What’s the rule of law? You’re required to abide by it … You’ve lost the right as a citizen to be anywhere near an abortion clinic or to speak to an employee,” he said.

“You’re wrong and your God’s wrong,” he continued. “You have complete contempt … There is a right to (abortion) in this country … You don’t have a right to cause (abortion-seeking women) extra pain and grief the way you do.”

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

“[Abortion] is legal,” he continued, “that’s all you have to understand … You start causing people emotional pain and harm, you think that’s okay?”

He then asked Wagner whether she would stay away from abortion sites for three years as required by the proposed terms of probation.

“I will not,” Wagner replied firmly.

“Then you’re going to jail,” said Clements.

Earlier, one of Wagner’s supporters in the public gallery spoke up and was addressed by Clements. “These (life issues) are deeply held beliefs. We respect the rule of law. There are ways to change the law. The rule of law is absolutely fundamental. We see what happens in the streets when the rule of law is ignored,” he said. “You wouldn’t like someone in your vestibule every night. People who can’t deal with that, we lock them up.”

When the man attempted to reply, he was ejected from the courtroom by Clements.

After a noon recess, Clements observed that joint submissions by the Crown and defense were not binding on a judge. He said in his view, the submission as it was would be contrary to the public interest and would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

Asked whether she had anything to say prior to sentencing, Wagner said she saw the rule of law as a guidepost, not an absolute. “The letter of the law does not always maintain justice … abortion is a short-term solution but causes long-term pain,” she said.

She added she never acts out of a lack of sensitivity, but rather attempts to love the women to whom she speaks. She also pointed to examples from history where people who were initially regarded as criminals were later found to be in the right.

Clements was unmoved. “You have, in some measure, displayed utter contempt for the courts and the rights of others,” he said. “You appear to be governed by a higher moral order than the laws of our country.”

“Your determination to break the law is a potential threat to the well-being of society and plants the seeds of lawlessness, perhaps even anarchy … You are unable to accord some civility and respect to others. Your view in law is wrong.”

In concluding, Clements accepted the testimony of abortion site co-owner Patricia Hasen, who filed a victim impact statement that claimed financial hardship caused by Wagner’s actions, including the necessity to hire a “counselor” from another abortion site. Hasen also said she was “scared a bit” when Wagner allegedly held a door open, adding she “doesn’t trust this woman’s peaceful demeanour” and worries about potential aggression. “These people do not work alone.”

Crown attorney Ishak, in his submissions, charged that pro-life activists “prey upon the emotional vulnerability” of abortion patients as “they evidently pursue martyrdom.” The “flouting” of laws, he charged, harken back to “the Dark Ages” and blurs the line between might and right. He suggested Wagner’s actions mark an increase in “the aggressive nature” of pro-life demonstrations, creating emotional distress.

There was no immediate word on whether Wagner planned to appeal either the verdicts or what amounted to a six-month jail sentence. There is also an option to file a complaint with the Ontario Judicial Council over Clements’s statements and conduct in the courtroom. According to the OJC website, “If you have a complaint of misconduct about a provincial judge or a justice of the peace, you must state your complaint in a signed letter. The letter of complaint should include the date, time and place of the court hearing and as much detail as possible about why you feel there was misconduct.”

To write to Wagner in prison:

Mary Wagner
Vanier Centre for Women
655 Martin St., Box 1040
Milton, ON   L9T 5E6

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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Growing ‘Women Against Feminism’ movement draws fury

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Critics of feminism have long said that it is entering the final stages of its long career, with more of its assertions about the nature of human sexual and social relations being contradicted by the evidence and fewer young people following its dictates every decade. But in the last few weeks, it seems that feminism’s last gasp is being used to direct insults at young women who are lining up to publicly reject and ridicule it.

The Tumblr site Women Against Feminism has started a social networking trend in which thousands of young women photograph themselves holding signs bluntly denouncing feminism, giving a sharp indication that the feminist brand has become poison to young, hip, and internet-savvy women.

Mainstream and journalistic feminists have lashed out at the site and its followers, entering into an online spat over the increasingly popular photos. The signs say, “I am not a victim,” and “This is what an anti-feminist looks like.”

They continue: “I am an adult who is capable of taking responsibility for myself and my actions. I define myself and derive my value by my own standards. I don’t need to be ‘empowered’. I am not a target for violence and there is no war against me. I respect me and I refuse to demonize them and blame them for my problems.”

The messages held by the women pinpoint with pithy and acerbic precision exactly the reasons given by many critics that the movement has lost favour with young people. They call it a creed of double standards that promotes victimhood and endorses bullying of anyone who critiques it.

The site’s explanatory page, which was taken down for unknown reasons in the last two days, said, “Feminists are the only people who lose their minds with rage when you tell them that women already have the same exact rights as men. That’s not good enough. They want more. They desperately want to be victims. They want a privileged social position.”

The author goes on to accuse feminism in general of systematic censorship, discrimination, elitism and “policing other women” who do not toe the line – as well as baseline misandry. The anonymous creator denounced feminism’s adoption of “abortion as ‘empowerment’”:

This opinion is unpopular, but I don’t agree that I need to have my baby scraped out of my uterus in order to feel empowered. But the abortion industry (i.e. Planned Parenthood) makes a ton of money off this perversion of empowerment. ‘Abortion as empowerment’ teaches women to see their wombs as nothing but garbage bins full of disposable waste.

One of the contributors wrote, “I don’t need feminism because my self-worth is not directly tied to my victim complex. As a woman in the western world I am not oppressed, and neither are you,” says one. Another: “I don’t need feminism because I don’t need to bully someone to share my opinions with others.”

Some come right out and say that feminism promotes exactly the evils it purports to fight against: “I don’t need feminism because I believe in equality, not entitlements and supremacy.”

Although the site and its contentious photos have been running around the internet for many months, arguments among journalism’s feminists started breaking out this week after a mocking Buzzfeed feature helped the site gain momentum on social media outlets.

Some feminist journalists simply flung insults. Lillian Kalish sniffed on Ryot, “These Women Who Think They Don’t Need Feminism Don’t Know What Feminism Is.” “Did these posters ever think to look up the actual definition of feminism?”

Nuala McKeever, in the Belfast Telegraph, called the women posting the photos “silly, ignorant, vacuous wee girls with absolutely no thoughts beyond their own self-absorbed inanities.”

Time Magazine’s Sarah Miller said, “I Really, Truly, Fully Hate ‘Women Against Feminism’—But…” Miller wrote, “[T]he tendency to see sexism everywhere is proof that feminism is healthy and vigilant, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, because misogyny is insidious and rampant… We need feminism.”

But Miller added, “Still, the pain that we experience as women—even physical—does not give us the right to tell people there’s one way to think or feel, or to assume that we have some god-like understanding of everyone’s motivations.”

Cathy Young, however, responded in Time, saying, “Stop Fem-Splaining: What ‘Women Against Feminism’ Gets Right.” She writes, “The charge that feminism stereotypes men as predators while reducing women to helpless victims certainly doesn’t apply to all feminists—but it’s a reasonably fair description of a large, influential, highly visible segment of modern feminism.”

The site, Young says, “raises valid questions about the state of Western feminism in the 21st Century — questions that must be addressed if we are to continue making progress toward real gender equality.”

Sarah Boesveld wrote in the National Post on Friday that the site shows that feminism has become “complicated” and “sometimes alienating.” She quotes an email sent to the paper by 22 year-old Australian Lisa Sandford, who “believes in equality for the sexes” but firmly rejects feminism as “rude and nasty” and intends to be a stay-at-home mother. 

Sandford wrote, “If feminism really accepted equality, they would not tell me my views are wrong, they would accept it and let me be.”

Browse the 'Women Against Feminism' archives here (warning: occasional strong language).

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Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse


Welcome Baby Filipino 100 Million!

Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse
By Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse

Population Research Institute welcomes the birth of little Chonalyn Sentino. Baby Chonalyn was born this past Sunday to parents Clemente and Dailin, and was feted in the Philippines as “Baby 100 Million.” PRI welcomes Baby Chonalyn as well, saying that she will be a blessing to her family, her community, and her nation.

The Philippines is one of the largest Catholic countries in the world, and its people value children. For this reason, it has been a target of the population controllers for decades. It was one of the countries singled out by Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council in 1974 for special “attention” and, more recently, has been bullied by the Obama administration into passing its first population control law. 

The bill, which was touted as being all about promoting “reproductive health,” was actually intended to drive down the birth rate. For example, section 15  requires that all couples receive a “Certificate of Compliance” from the local Family Planning Office before becoming eligible for a marriage license.

Some in the Philippines are decrying Chonalyn’s birth, repeating USAID’s talking points about the “dangers” of overpopulation. They welcome Chonalyn as an individual little girl, while simultaneously calling for future little girls and boys to be removed from existence.

The Philippine Star wrote that the birth symbolized a “large population that will put a strain on the country's limited resources.” Another paper cited the executive director of the official Commission on Population who bluntly said “We'd like to push the fertility rate down to two children per (woman's) lifetime.” And the Global Post cited “concerned advocates” who thought the current population was not a “complement with the country's economic growth.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

But many other Filipinos aren’t buying into the anti-people hysteria. Francisco Antonio, a Filipino Chemical Engineering graduate student at Yale, adamantly rebutted the notion that there are too many Filipinos, saying: “I celebrate life because population control is defeatism disguised as pragmatism. And because human creativity holds more potential for protecting this planet and its inhabitants than any other resource I know of.”

A Filipina currently living in California told PRI that she welcomed the transition of her country to 100 million persons: “Filipinos are not a burden to the world population, because we not only care for our own but also for others in the world. One of the greatest and most sought after exports of the Philippines is our skilled, motivated, and exemplary workforce. And these workers tirelessly cultivate their family and community abroad and in the Philippines. We are a very social and civic minded people. We care and share because it is part of our culture and we do it with a smile.”

 Ed, a Filipino accountant, also celebrated the birth of Baby Chonalyn: “The typical Filipino does not associate a baby with ‘cost’ or ‘expense’ but rather as a ‘blessing’ and a ‘gift.’ This is because Filipinos recognize that true happiness does not come from the accumulation of material wealth or prestige, but rather, from true, genuine, and strong relationships with other people. [Filipinos] value life, not because the Church says or the Pope says so, but because they recognize it to be true. And the truth about the value of life, will continue to shine, long after the debates are over.”

It goes without saying that we at the Population Research Institute also welcome Chonalyn’s birth. We need more Filipinos, not fewer. 

Reprinted with permission from

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Claude A. Curran

Viagra ads abuse children’s innocence. I’m trying to stop it - will you join me?

Claude A. Curran
By Claude Curran

As each sporting season draws to an end it seems that the championship celebrations have barely ended when speculation begins over changes in team rosters, who will be back next season and who will not be back. That is the unpredictability of sports.

However, one perennial staple of televised professional sports in the US is those annoying “men’s pills” commercials. These ads seem to have no-cut contracts with all pro sports—baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, all of them. It is impossible to watch any professional sporting broadcasts without being molested by these ads.

Most everyone whom I have talked to about these commercials finds them annoying but there has never been much concerted public outcry. I guess it’s a case of learned helplessness, like laboratory dogs who continue, passively, to submit to electric shocks without trying to escape.

Not me, I’m still scurrying to find the remote control, still trying to keep certain information away from my younger kids. There are some conversations, I think, that children should be excluded from.

But what can you do? These corporate bullies-- Pfizer and Eli Lilly, the cable and satellite television broadcasters Comcast, Dish, as well as the television networks like ESPN, Fox News, CNN, etc. are making a fortune from these recreational medicines and advertising revenue. Our children’s innocence is mere collateral damage – sorry, folks but business is business.

I am a physician and I have been asking Pfizer drug reps to have these ads removed from television for many years. I think the ads are embarrassing and offensive. I remember hearing one of my children singing Pfizer’s Viagra jingle adaptation of Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas”. She was 7 years old at the time and already a devoted fan of the New England Patriots; it appears the NFL serves up both an adult and pediatric form of TBI.

In Fall River, Massachusetts the parent of another 7-year-old girl last year received a visit from the state child protection agency after his child apparently explained the physiological effects of these pills to her young classmates.

Two years ago a patient complained to me that a Viagra commercial prompted her 14-year-old son to explain the situation to her 6 and 8-year-old children. Thanks, Pfizer and Eli Lilly!

The State of Rhode Island Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Guide, in its discussion of sexual abuse states: “Included among the behavioral and emotional indicators of sexual abuse is inappropriate knowledge of sexual matters inconsistent with (the child’s) developmental level.” Must the Guide be re-written?

The State of Delaware has on its various government websites some of the most specific information about child abuse and neglect. They include a detailed list of who is considered to be a mandated reporter. The list includes parents, guardians, teachers, healthcare professionals, coaches, baby sitters, clergy—just about all of us are on it.

Last spring I made a call to Delaware’s child abuse hotline to file a complaint against Pfizer. The young woman I spoke with took my report and empathized with my argument that these ads are illegal. I was contacted by the Delaware child protection services about one week later and was told that they had reviewed my complaint but were not going to open an investigation. I reported, they decided.

Among the diagnostic elements in child abuse is the exposure of children to “developmentally inappropriate information”. These ads have been doing this for years.

In these ads both Pfizer and Eli Lilly use sexually explicit terminology, a vocabulary that evokes specific sexual imagery. By using this language in the context of “patient education” the pharmaceutical companies skirt obscenity laws. In terms of patient safety is it necessary for Pfizer and Eli Lilly to glaringly pronounce a particular non-life-threatening side-effect while avoiding mention of accidental falls and diarrhea? Would accidental falls and diarrhea pique as much interest and conversation in their products? Probably not. But I guess the risk of loose bowels explains the separate bathtubs in Eli Lilly’s Cialis ads!

I am well acquainted with the consequences of childhood sexual trauma; I’ve heard hundreds if not thousands of stories. The consequences of this type of trauma can be catastrophic. Very frequently those who should have been protectors remained silent. I am also familiar with harassment, bullying, and intimidation. These “men’s pills” ads are a pernicious mixture of all four elements.

Several years ago US Congressman Jim Moran introduced legislation to limit the airing of these commercials between 10pm and 6am. He obviously understood that the drug companies would not police themselves. Pfizer would not budge, adamantly defending their right and the urgency of running their ads when children may be watching. At least Moran tried.

Recent California “Paparazzi” laws aim to protect the privacy of the children of celebrities. Shouldn’t both privacy and innocence of children be protected?

Through an internet effort at, @SafeTvAds and #Nobitussin on Twitter, airing ads on Christian radio network, and reaching out to religious-based organizations and media, we have tried to organize a boycott of Pfizer and Eli Lilly products. We have also sent a letter of complaint to the Food and Drug Administration Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP).

This issue, one would think, is a perfect opportunity for the US Catholic hierarchy to restore a bit of pastoral relevance following recent decades of bad press. Yet one clergyman warned me that Pfizer employs a lot of people and any boycott of their products would hurt those families.

For too long these industries have collaborated in the creation of a toxic environment around every television screen in North America and elsewhere. They have been permitted to deform the trajectory of each child’s unique psychological maturation. Pfizer and Eli Lilly and the broadcasters should have known better. In fact, the content in these ads violates Pfizer’s own workplace harassment policy.

The 1989 version of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, Article 17, discussed the media’s responsibility to give children access to information “aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health”. Pfizer, Eli Lilly, media companies, advertising agencies, clergy and public officials need to ponder this and act accordingly.

Meanwhile we can skip the Robitussin.

Claude A. Curran, MD, lives in Bristol, Rhode Island, with his wife, Patrizia, and their five children. He practices general adult psychiatry in Fall River, Massachusetts. Reprinted with permission from


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